Fiji Multi-Country Office
There is a growing recognition and understanding within the Pacific that empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth. To this end, some progress towards gender equality has been made at regional, national and community levels.
For example, some Pacific Island countries and territories have passed domestic violence legislation, have supported the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health rights at international meetings and have included gender equality in development forum discussions.
The region still has a long way to go. The Pacific has some of the world’s highest rates of gender-based and sexual violence, as well as the lowest numbers of women in parliament.
Women in the region often face cultural, economic and systemic barriers to participating fully in their communities. These can include little or no access to decent work, leadership opportunities, legal representation, basic education and healthcare, as well as the direct physical and emotional effects of violence.
However, women also offer unique skills and knowledge that could play a huge part in ensuring the overall health and prosperity of their families, communities and nations.
UN Women’s Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) works with governments and civil society organisations across 14 Pacific Island countries and territories to address this imbalance, empower women and build more inclusive societies.
To do this, the MCO works through four key programmes:
- Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE)
- Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG)
- Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific (AGJP)
- Increasing Community Resilience through Empowerment of Women to Address Climate Change and Natural Hazards (IREACH)
UN Women has four field presences in the region – Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – each of which is led by a National Country Programme Coordinator. As part of the UN Pacific Joint Presence arrangement, UN Women also hosts a Joint Presence Office in Nauru led by the Country Development Manager. The MCO itself is headed by the UN Women Representative and works alongside 19 other UN agencies in the region.
The UN Women Fiji MCO covers the following countries:
News and Updates
“At times, we think only men can participate in decisions that we make for our wards, council and for the city but women also play a very important role in our society and we must also include them in whatever decisions we do,” said Charles Aiwosuga, a participant at the Gender 101 training and also Honiara’s Deputy Mayor. “For me, as a leader, this session had given some new ideas and knowledge to be humble and carry our work by putting on the gender lenses,” he added... More
For the first time two Solomon Islands markets, Auki and Honiara Central Markets have plans ready to ensure safety at a time of disaster thanks to the collaborative efforts of partners engaged in the UN Women Markets for Change project. Over the past two weeks, UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project has partnered with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and provincial counterparts based at Honiara City... More
Regional training is assisting participants to better understand the impact of spending on women and men market vendors then plan gender responsive budgets. Today completes the week-long Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) training, which is part of UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project primarily funded by the Australian Government. Participants from local and national government, provincial and municipal council officials from Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are keen to use... More
“Dealing with youths, especially students, is very difficult, because when you talk about the issues of violence, domestic violence and sexual abuse, it’s funny to them. They giggle and laugh. But when the drama group actually dramatizes the scene, the mood. Hendrick Barai of Family Support Centre, with UN Women’s toolkit on designing projects... More
“Promoting gender equality and the protection of women, girls, boys and men go hand in hand, it must be at the forefront of humanitarian planning and response otherwise we are failing the people of the Pacific," UN Multi Country Representative, Aleta Miller told attendees at the opening of the Pacific regional Gender and Protection in Humanitarian Action training this week. Protecting people before, during and after a disaster has been at the forefront of discussions among Pacific... More
Even disasters discriminate. More women die in disasters than men. Women face even greater risks of violence in the aftermath and their ability to make an income is often more affected. They end up caring for even more people – other people’s children, the elderly, the injured. Considering this reality, and on World Humanitarian Day, we have to ask ourselves: Where are the women’s voices in disaster planning, response... More
A Category 5 cyclone pulls root crops out of the ground long enough to fill the holes beneath them with water so that whatever hasn’t been scattered rots; it sends flash floods and storm surges roaring through villages, sweeping away people and their belongings; it turns villages into piles of debris and roofing iron into a deadly weapon. Similar to other disasters, a Category 5 cyclone has another legacy. It exacerbates existing inequalities. Not only are women and girls more likely to... More
Time and time again, it has been shown that in the aftermath of a disaster, women and girls face even higher risks of violence than they do under ordinary circumstances. The damage – whether it is physical or psychological – is often much harder to see and takes longer to emerge, for many reasons, including the shame and stigma that surrounds reporting such violence. Tropical Cyclone Winston is no exception, with reports of violence and exploitation of survivors beginning to... More
The first thing that hits you about a country that has felt the full force of a category five cyclone is the trees. It’s like they have been ravaged by a forest fire, one that strips them of their foliage but otherwise leaves no visible scorch marks. Unfortunately, I was seeing this for the second time in less than a year. Surveying the damage, talking to women who are battered and exhausted—but far from broken by Mother Nature’s fury—I have witnessed women’s incredible strength and resilience.... More
Special Issue - Tropical Cyclone Winston | May 2016. In this issue: (*) Collecting the stories of Winston (*) Addressing the needs of women and girls (*) Getting the response right for women (*) Shaping the recovery process (*) Assessment crucial to ongoing activities (*) Preventing and responding to violence... More